While the holiday shopping season is serving up a bounty of cheap foreign-made products, Long Island drivers have been getting another taste of globalization: high gas prices at the pump.

Compared to a month ago, the average LI gas price climbed 20 cents to $3.24, according to GasBuddy.com. Over the past year, the increase is almost 40 cents.

According to a Lundberg Survey of 2,500 gas stations nationwide, Nassau-Suffolk had the highest average gas price in the 48 continental states on Sunday ($3.21). A similar survey, released Tuesday by the AAA, ranked Long Island fourth nationally among the highest prices for petrol (behind San Francisco, New York City and Bridgeport, Conn.)

AAA New York Spokesman Robert Sinclair said the general increase was due to “foreigners
trying to take advantage of the weak dollar” and purchasing more crude oil. Long Island’s higher-than-usual increase reflected “zone pricing,” where stations in high-traffic areas charged “radically different prices,” he said.

At a BP station in Hicksville, Sanjiv Vig, a taxi driver from Queens, said the increase cost him hundreds monthly. “Up to $3 was OK. When it goes up, we lose money,” he said.

Kathryn Odessa, executive director of the Long Island Gasoline Retailers Association, said the “trickle down” meant gas station owners “have to raise their prices, and that’s passed along to the public.”

Shakil Ahmad, a BP employee who said the profit margin was still 10 cents per gallon, has heard plenty of complaints lately. “I say, ‘Look. When I pump gas, I pay the same price. It’s not up to me,’” he said.